This summer, community members are invited to participate in Oakquest, the quest to map Oregon’s white oak trees across the region.
The Oak Mapping Work Group, a partnership of the Intertwine, Portland metropolitan area parks and natural resource agencies, non-governmental organizations and others, is working to develop better maps that show the distribution of Oregon white oak across the region.
"Oregon white oaks are at about 7 percent of their historical population in the Willamette Valley, and that number is even lower in the Portland metropolitan area,” says Metro natural resource scientist Lori Hennings. "We want to map where those oaks are to help identify opportunities for increasing connectivity of oak habitat, which provides refuge and home for the western gray squirrel, white breasted nuthatch and many other species. Additionally, the cultural heritage and significance for Native American tribes from our region with the Oregon white oak is great and we want to be able to preserve and honor that heritage with them."
Volunteers are needed to help create a ground-truthed map with the Oakquest project, launching this July and running through August. Training will be in late June and anyone may participate, though youth under age 18 are invited with a supervising parent or guardian.
So get on board! Take a short survey by June 23, and also sign up for more details about the project and learn how to get involved.
Take the survey